Is self-neglect getting in your way? Learn how to care for your unmet needs.
A lot of spiritual folk are under the impression that “needs” are wrong. They believe that needs are ego-driven and that one should be above them. In the pursuit of enlightenment, people have come up with the idea that needs are a human frailty and that being spiritual requires selflessness and perfection.
That couldn’t be further from the truth.
The need to be heard, for instance, is not unreasonable.
Yet, I see this kind of thinking on a regular basis in my work. Some of my clients apologize for negative feelings; they think that they’re not being spiritual and they go to great lengths to bury their needs, such as the desire to be heard and respected, and cared for.
These are simple desires that many of us have learned to bypass in the belief that they are ungrounded or that we should look after ourselves.
But the truth is, we don’t live on an isolated island; we are in community and our needs serve others in their mutual growth. One person’s need to be heard, for instance, is the other person’s need to learn to listen. There is a natural synergy that has brought us all together, and we have the opportunity to heal and evolve together.
Who are we to deprive others of their growth; it’s up to us to guide them and open ourselves to their love.
It’s up to us to teach those that are close to us how to love us. It’s up to us to guide them, rather than hold them responsible for our lack of fulfilment and disempowerment. It’s up to us to brave our own unmet needs and speak up on behalf of what’s really important to us.
By being vulnerable with our feelings and desires. How can we even begin to create lasting change if we bury our needs and feelings?
Moving beyond the conditioned fear of our own needs and feelings.
It’s only natural that many people believe that their needs are wrong, because most of them have been brought up with criticism and judgement. For instance, in my family, I was made fun of or ignored when I set boundaries. When you grow up with your needs and feelings not seen or understood, it only stands to reason that you grow up with a sense of confusions regarding your true needs.
One of my clients, Anna (Named change for privacy) recalls an incident that occurred when she was about 12 years old. Her mother hustled her out of bed one night and demanded to know why Anna was sleeping. Anna told her mother that she was very tired and not feeling well. Her mother insisted that she get out of bed and do her work, which consisted of further studies and keeping ahead with her schooling.
Anna broached this issue in session because she had developed a health issue due to pushing herself and expecting high achievement. Even though she knew that her mother was over demanding, she nevertheless felt guilty when she was not accomplishing something.
What was her fundamental need that she had come to unconsciously disbelieve in?
The need for consideration, to slow down and embrace her achievements, and rest in the certainty that she is a valued and worthy person.
What are real needs?
This is a question explored in the article: False and Real Needs, “Real needs never require others to comply and ‘give it to you.’ Only to the little self does that appear necessary.” … “Legitimate needs can be fulfilled only to the degree you experience your original feelings and your residual feelings of the past. This means that you discover and give up the false needs that have accrued from denying the pain of the original fulfillment. Let yourself go into the child state, and allow the irrational, destructive reactions of the child in you to express themselves now. When you truly own up to this part of you, you already create a new inner climate.
Creating a new inner-climate is essential – a new climate of real reality.
“There is no time like the present to ask yourself, ‘What is the level of my presence?’
“From 1-100, how present are you right now?
“Pick a number, any number that comes to you intuitively.
“There isn’t a right or wrong number, there isn’t a right or wrong state of presence. There is just your state of presence, and the more you become aware of it, the more present you become.
“Creating a new inner climate for your essential worthiness and delicious appreciation of all your needs, wants, and feelings is essential. Your inner climate can be as simple as noticing your feelings. You can begin with observing your body-sensations, your thoughts and emotions, along with your level of presence, and then ask yourself, ‘What do I need in this moment to be fully present?’
“’What do I need right now to engage wholeheartedly with life?’
“Maybe you need to speak up and say no to abusive behaviour, yours and others.
“Maybe you need to sit a while and be very quiet.
“Maybe you need to say, ‘I’m here and I have every right to be here. I’m scared or frustrated or sad and hurt and that’s okay, because that is where I am in this present moment.
“Of course, the present moment will change. It always does. That’s the thing, you see – the more you observe, sense, listen-in, and get present, the more whatever you’re experiencing in the moment shifts to accommodate your renewed presence. Anger shifts into intrigue and quiet power. Fear moves into courage and vulnerable transparency – it becomes an intimate friend. Hurt evolves into honesty, and sorrow becomes a point of newness and inspiration.
“Create a new climate of real reality with those you love. Begin with you!
“The great news – we’re here to help you. Just look within, let these words settle in and there we are assisting you with love and belief in you. Yes indeed, let us believe in you. Why not? It feels so good to be believed in.”
If you have some limiting patterns that make creating a new inner climate difficult, please consider receiving my support.
Many people on the spiritual path take pride in trying to find their own way without help. But in truth, a guiding hand is indispensable to untangle the complexities of what is going on at a deeper unconscious level and to integrate new understanding and tools into your life.
Featured photo by Stefan Keller
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